I Smoke Alone: Indirect Effects of Solitary Cannabis Use on Negative Consequences Through Coping Motives

Sarah A. Okey, Jack T. Waddell, William R. Corbin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Using cannabis in solitary contexts is associated with greater cannabis use problems than using cannabis in social contexts. However, it remains unclear why solitary use predicts greater problems. Consistent with a social learning perspective, the current study examined whether cannabis use motives mediated the association between context of cannabis use and negative consequences. We also examined whether cannabis type (concentrates vs. flower) moderated the relation between context of use and motives. Method: Recreational college cannabis users (n = 387) reported their frequency of using cannabis alone or with others, motives for cannabis use, negative cannabis consequences, and type of cannabis typically used. Results: Solitary cannabis use was associated with greater global negative consequences through coping motives (β = 0.26, SE = 0.10, 95% CI [0.10, 0.43]). Cannabis type did not moderate relations between context and motives, despite concentrate users reporting more frequent cannabis use, more frequent solitary use, and greater consequences than flower users. Conclusions: Frequent cannabis use in solitary contexts was associated with greater negative cannabis consequences, both directly and indirectly via coping motives. Efforts to reduce frequent use of cannabis in solitary contexts, particularly for the purpose of coping, may be beneficial in reducing negative consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-730
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of studies on alcohol and drugs
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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